My Hope is Big

By July 18, 2019 March 20th, 2020 Stories From Idlib

Protecting people’s property from the robbery was a priority for us. After the area witnessed a few theft incidents as people were forced to leave their homes to safer areas with only their clothes. Leaving valuable stuff and everything they own behind. Thus, as we stayed in the village, we established a local volunteer movement by youth members to protect properties from being robbed.

In spite of the risks of bombardment which continue even at night, a couple of young age men stay up until the sunrise in each district. To ensure that no one sneaks at midnight and steals abandoned homes. Other groups were safeguarding, moving between the streets at night, as we couldn’t sleep since the bombing was none stop, so we decided to do something.

The displaced families eventually knew about us. They were very grateful for securing the village in their absence and showing how heartbroken they are to leave their beloved town of Kafranbel. This appreciation touched us deeply.

For me, I stayed in the village because I believe in the importance of staying between my neighbors and families under these dire circumstances. Staying together was essential to encourage and support each other. Besides, my living source is in the village (BRQ shop), which is one of the reasons that made me stay.

In the shop, I have piles of salt bags which I used to use in my daily work. However, they turned now into a shield wall that I hide behind when an attack occurs in the district to protect myself.

It was one of the toughest days I have ever been through in my life, working under the plan’s attacks, which might bomb us anytime. The bombing wave impact on my work here was different from other businesses.

In my case, usually, people used to come to my shop personally and wait for their food to be ready. Sorrowfully, people started to call me on the phone or WhatsApp telling me their food order, and whenever it’s ready, I send them a text, and they drop in quickly to pick up the food and rush back home immediately trying to avoid death while they are out on the streets.

Once at night while I was at home, a series of bombing by mortar rockets started to fall on our village, the explosions were enormous and scary. After the shelling halted, I went to check and found out that my only way of earning a living, my shop is severely affected. I can no longer work in it… I was speechless.

My shop used to have a unique impact on the people who stayed in spite of the bombing. All of them felt a sense of resilience and optimism when they saw my shop opened and feel sad and pessimistic when it was close.

After losing my shop, I decided to leave somewhere safer than my village endeavoring my family’s safety and protecting their lives. “I am sorry Kafrenbel, I lost everything” these were my last words that I posted on my Facebook page before leaving my beloved village.

My hope is big that these attacks stop very soon, to be able to go back to my home in Kafranbel, fix my shop, and go back to work.